Let’s say you have a forty page, 300-question survey, written in Portuguese by a colleague in your Lisbon office. It needs to be translated into English, German, French, Brazilian Portuguese, Bengali, and Mandarin.
And it needs to go live in one week.
What do you do? Here is some advice we give our clients:
Know Your Goals
It is important to pinpoint the all of the project’s parameters. This enables you to understand the breadth of the project and make it easier to communicate your needs to us. Be sure to know the answer to these questions before you begin:
What language do the materials exist in currently– it’s source language?
What language(s) do the materials need to be translated into– the target language(s)?
What is the subject matter of your survey? Not all translation providers are able to understand the complexities of the pharmaceutical industry especially prescribing or patient behavior. We at aiaTranslations make sure that the teams working on your project specialize in your industry.
What is your audience? Defining your audience ensures our translations speak directly to your audience using the correct tone. For example, physician and patient surveys are frequently written and ultimately translated at different registers.
What is your budget? If you really do have a 300-question survey and you need multiple translations, you’ll need to secure a budget. If you have a spending limit for the project, be sure to build in the translation cost.
What programming language does not require translation? Will our translators be expected to work in a different file format or interface with your survey programmers?
Know the Details
This step is where translation companies really shine over individual or freelance translators. aiaTranslations is all inclusive. We manage projects from proposal to delivery. We handle the operations associated with creating the global versions. If you concisely communicated your details and desires from the beginning, we can do all the rest.
Through over 20–years of experience in the life sciences industry, we have honed our expertise and are able to provide the best, most-qualified translation teams for your surveys. We are keen on adapting quickly and handling projects in a highly personalized way. We draw on our experience working with thousands of clients to make sure you have a top-quality instrument.
Give It Time
This step is often misjudged. If you really do have a 300-question survey that needs translating into many languages, be sure you allot enough time for all of it. Give our translators time to do their job and give your team time too. Leaving one day between getting the final content and sending it out isn’t a great idea.
Even though you are not creating each survey from scratch, all the copying and replacing text for every question and possible response for each language takes more time than you’ll anticipate. Avoid the crunch by getting the translated content back early enough to avoid missing your deadline.
Building a relationship with an experienced translation partner is the ultimate key to success for international market research, especially for global surveys requiring high quality cross-market consistency. Following the guidelines above will hopefully also increase response rates making for a more successful global marketing endeavor.
By Ilona Knudson